Rain brings fresh flooding risk to England

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Media captionCritics say cuts to the flood defence budget may have put homes at risk

Weather forecasters say north-east England is most at risk of flooding but rain is expected to ease later.

The Environment Agency has 196 flood warnings and more than 230 flood alerts in place in England and Wales.

There are several flood warnings along the River Ouse in York where river levels will continue to rise.

Some Leicestershire residents were warned they faced Christmas away from home after their estate was deluged with sewage.

Father-of-three Tim King said insurers told him his house in Loughborough was not fit to live in until it is cleaned.

He said: "They are talking about re-housing us over Christmas because they are saying we can't live in the house as it is with three young children.

Image caption A golf course was flooded in Bury Village, in Norwich

"Initially I think the kids thought it was a big adventure but this morning when they realised Christmas wasn't going to be at home they got very tearful."

In Gloucester concerns have been raised about further flooding as the River Severn reaches its peak.

The Environment Agency said the river would be at its highest level since the mass flooding of 2007, when much of the county was under water.

In Tewkesbury it is expected to peak on Wednesday morning at 4.6m (15ft) which is almost 1m lower than in 2007.

It is expected to peak in Gloucester later, 0.5m lower than five years ago.

Fire crews were called to more than 30 floods overnight in Essex and two men had to be rescued by boat when their car got stuck.

Neil Fenwick, from Essex Fire and Rescue, said: "Every time there is flooding the service has to rescue people who have driven their cars into flood water.

"Just driving into water and hoping for the best is not an option, by the time you find out the water is too deep you are already trapped."

In Cambridgeshire drivers who flout flood warning signs and get stuck in deep water have been told by police they could face prosecution.

Insp Iain Clark said some drivers were ignoring temporary sings and cones.

Trains delayed

"We are having to deploy resources to rescue stricken motorists and that is taking them [police officers] away from other duties.

"These road signs are there for a reason, any motorist caught ignoring them will be prosecuted," he said.

At Harrold in Bedfordshire, country park water bailiff Trevor Smith said 28 cars had broken down on flooded roads since Friday and motorists were still trying to get through.

"We've blocked the roads off and they move the signs… They're so daft," he said.

The Association of Train Operating Companies said 20% of trains were delayed because of the weather.

John Baker, from Network Rail, said it could be mid-week before services improved.

He said: "We are struggling to get routes back up and running."

Image caption In Tewkesbury the River Severn will peak 1m (3.3ft) lower than in 2007

Elsewhere across England:

  • Race meetings at Sedgefield in County Durham and Southwell Racecourse in Nottinghamshire have been abandoned because the tracks are waterlogged
  • Several roads in Middlesbrough, Stockton and Hartlepool are closed because of flooding as well as many B roads in Warwickshire
  • In Nottingham, the Queen's Drive park and ride was closed as a precaution
  • A 17 mile stretch of the A38 in Staffordshire and Derbyshire was closed while about 50 homes have been flooded in Derbyshire

In Leicestershire householders faced a miserable clean-up following the floods.

Dawn Hickinbottom, manager of The Boat House pub in Barrow upon Soar, was horrified to see the floodwaters lapping at the building's doors.

She said: "It is just horrendous. You see floods on the television but when you are in this environment it is very, very frightening and scary."

The Environment Agency warned properties along the River Thames between Purley and Henley, in Berkshire, were expected to be flooded later.

There are further flood warnings in place along the Great Ouse, affecting riverside towns and villages in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Floodgates have gone up in Upton, Worcestershire, following a £4.5m flood alleviation scheme which was completed in the summer.

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UK forecast for 18/06/2018

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